The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New Orleans District has the largest annual navigation channel Operations & Maintenance program in the Nation. Based on data from 1996 through 2013, the New Orleans District dredges an average of 78 million cubic yards of material annually during maintenance dredging of federal navigation channels. Excluding dredged material that is unsuitable for beneficial use (~17.7 mcy) or too remote from coastal Louisiana (~19 mcy), approximately 38 percent (15.8 mcy) of the material dredged under the New Orleans District O&M program is used beneficially within the Federal standard, which represents the least-cost environmentally acceptable disposal alternative. There is a reasonable potential to use an additional 20 mcy of material beneficially each year if sufficient funding was made available.
The LCA Beneficial Use of Dredged Material (BUDMAT) Program objective is to cost effectively increase the beneficial use of material dredged from federally maintained waterways at a total cost of $100 million over a ten year period. Implementation of the LCA BUDMAT Program is authorized by the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007 - Section 7006(d) within the Louisiana Coastal Area Program.